The Boat Stays On The Car!
This time of year, riding around with a boat on your car looks a bit odd, but I since I work at home and I don’t drive much it stays safe and clean in my high arched porte cohere. (That’s French for carport. You get to call it that when you have a fancy high arched brick carport.) The rowing club moved last year to a lake where there is no under cover or secure place to keep boats. Plus, even though it is a great lake reasonably close to my house, due to the plummeting water level and my increase in mileage, I can’t row there anymore. The rack where my boat would be hung in my garage is currently occupied by my other boat that I had to confiscate from the rowing club after it was wrecked by the fellow who was transporting boats to the new club location. I made the repairs myself and it’s for sale if anyone is interested. It’s better than ever and it’s a great boat … fits up to two lap dogs.
I keep my boat on my car because I know how I am. If I have to put my rack on top of my car and load my boat, in addition to getting my gear ready … careful not to forget anything like the seat or the sculls, put my contacts in (that I only wear when I row), drive over thirty miles to an uninhabited lake that’s closed and hope the deputies guarding the road in will let me through, unload and prepare my boat to launch (it has to be perfectly clean), be sure I have dry clothes in ziplock bags, everything attached to the boat (like my GPS and Speed Coach are attached to the rigging looped through elastic cords), my phone in a ziplock back, my keys clipped to a Speed Coach wire …
If my boat weren’t already on top of the car I probably wouldn’t go. I just know how I am. It feels to me if I put it away, it would be like giving up and giving in to winter. I’m not giving up. I’m not giving in.
I haven’t mentioned this before, but the day we shot the music video (Halloween), Bob wanted to stop for a snack at a little store on the lake that is usually open for the bass fishermen. I normally don’t get out of the boat during my long rows, but since Bob was there on his pontoon boat filming me all day, I would make an exception. That day I learned that what looks like a beach on a lake that drops a foot a week is NOT HARD PACK! No, it’s quicksand. I immediately overstretched my right Achilles tendon as my heal sank endlessly into the sucking mud. I announced to Bob I had just injured myself. I don’t think he took it too seriously. I still got back in the boat and rowed another 10 – 15 miles. (Maybe my experienced rowing readers won’t be so hard on me now about the splashing on the catch at the end of the video.) But when I got out of the boat at dark there was no denying my ankle was in a bad way. As soon I got the boat secure on my car, I whipped out one of the ice-packs I always brought in a cooler and iced my ankle for the drive home.
The next week I kept my right food immobilized in a brace, desperate to heal it immediately. I was ready to row a full 50 miles and had planned to do it the weekend before, but wound up working to complete the repair of my other boat for a buyer who backed out. The next weekend was the video shoot, then the injury. I had hoped for a speedier recovery, but even though my Achilles tendon healed, my Plantaris tendon on the inside of my ankle gave me fits for many more weeks. My doctor and my chiropractor looked at it and said to keep my ankle it moving to prevent the Plantaris from attaching to another tendon. I made it out to row one more time before the weather became too cold. My foot started to really hurt at 20 miles, which is why I came in for the first time all year before dark at 24 miles.
Now, since I am healed from yet another enlightening injury: I want to row; I need to row. I am in denial that it is too cold to row; that the days are too short; that the lake is too far away and that it’s closed anyway. I just want to row. So I scour the weather forecast of Inland Lake every day and when the right kind of day comes out of nowhere, I AM READY TO GO!!
The boat stays on the car!